Frank Lampard has offered a strong indication over who he will play against Brighton & Hove Albion on Saturday afternoon.
Chelsea are searching for their first win under Lampard since he returned to the club last weekend and come up against European chasing Brighton at Stamford Bridge in the Premier League.
Back-to-back defeats to Wolves and Real Madrid in the last week have dampened the mood inside the camp, but Chelsea remained determined and focused to get back on track to finish the season strongly.
It’s a big couple of days for Chelsea. Their season is hanging by a thread with games against Brighton and Real Madrid. Should they exit the Champions League next week, qualification for next season’s competition is all but over due to their poor league position – 11th.
Lampard has an almost fully fit squad after Kalidou Koulibaly was ruled out for weeks with a hamstring injury.
But the Chelsea boss has confirmed changes are set to be made to his starting XI against Brighton on Saturday ahead of their crucial second leg clash against Real Madrid in the quarter-finals next Tuesday.
He has offered hope to many players who have had limited minutes this season, with some set to get the chance to impress against the Seagulls.
“In the period I’m here firstly I want to win football matches because we are Chelsea and that is what is expected from us from myself and fans,” said Lampard on being under pressure to give players who are out of the side minutes because of the limited time on the training pitch due to the schedule.
“Secondly, I want to be part of the process in this period where players have an opportunity if they train and deserve to play.
“Tomorrow (Saturday) will be an opportunity for some players who didn’t play in the Champions League, possibly didn’t play at the weekend, to come in because it’s a game where we absolutely need freshness and energy as well. So every opportunity, they should take.”
On how players can earn their chance to play, Lampard revealed: “What I do want to say is, the players have to feel when they train and when they turn up for training and how they prepare, the competitive nature in the squad to get a place in the team needs to be high in every position.”